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33 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L.J. [i] (2010-2011)

handle is hein.journals/hascom33 and id is 1 raw text is: HASTINGS COMMUNICATIONS
Volume 33, Number 1
by Christopher S. Reed .....................................................................1
In response to mounting economic challenges in the media industry,
some broadcasters have started entering into agreements whereby one
station agrees to sell advertising, produce programming, or take over
certain other functions of another station in the same market. Though
such arrangements, often called local marketing or time brokerage
agreements, are not particularly new in the broadcasting field, they have
been used with increasing frequency in recent years.
This article examines the form and function of cooperative
agreements among broadcasters and explores the reasons why such
agreements are attractive business propositions for those who enter into
them. It then describes the regulatory context in which these agreements
exist, from both a communications and an antitrust law perspective. The
article closes with a look back at the antitrust enforcement action
brought against joint operating agreements and the subsequent passage
of the Newspaper Preservation Act, and sets forth some suggestions for
future regulatory treatment of cooperative agreements.
This article concludes that while cooperative agreements likely offer
many pro-competitive benefits, both the FCC and antitrust enforcers
should take a more active, cooperative role in reviewing and monitoring
agreements between competing broadcasters and consider the potentially
adverse effects of such arrangements across each potentially affected
market, including the market for audience share, the market for
advertisers, the market for carriage, and the marketplace of ideas.

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